Combining a comfortable fit with excellent sound for the money, Klipsch's original Image
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Both models come in white and black and for better or worse, the S4i II has the same Apple-friendly inline remote/microphone that probably won't fully work with many Android mobile devices. But Android fans can rest easy: Klipsch does offer a non-Apple version called the
As I said, the the only real difference I see in this model is the the new flat, linguine-style cord. The bottom two-thirds of the cord is wider until it splits off into two narrower strands that connect to the buds with "L" and "R" clearly marked on the underside of the cable next to each bud, so you can easily tell the right and left apart. That's a small but important detail.
While the new S4 II line seems a bit more sturdy, the earphones aren't sweat-resistant like the
The key to what makes the S4i II earphones and their predecessors so good is the angle of the earphones' post (what the eartip attaches to) and the oval shape of the silicone eartips, of which three sizes come included. The combination creates a comfortable fit and Klipsch arguably makes the best-designed silicone eartips, giving a tight seal.
For everyday walking around, these earphones fit securely. Plenty of people used the original S4 and S4i models for sporting use -- hence their durability becoming an issue -- and this new pair seems fine for a light workout, but I wouldn't count on them staying in my ears while running. (I prefer
The way you're supposed to wear them, once the tips are in your ears, is to wrap the cord over and around your ear from front to back. I never particularly liked wearing earphones like this, but in theory it creates a more secure fit and helps stabilize the cord. However, a lot of folks will simply wear them with the cord dangling down from their ears.
If you're comparing these with the Ruggeds, which don't have a flat cord, in terms of fit there isn't a significant difference. The inline remote is thinner on the S4i II, with a glossy finish, and has smaller buttons, which makes it a tad more difficult to operate by feel, though it's still fine.